Agri Business

Assam flood situation grim even as more rain forecast

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 20, 2020 Published on July 20, 2020

Villagers row a boat near a submerged house to cross a flooded area, in Morigaon district.   -  PTI

Brahmaputra poses severe to extreme risk

Alignment of the rain-driving monsoon trough across North-West India towards the foothills is such that the intense wet spells on view would continue varyingly for the next few days over North-West India, East India and North-East India, likely aggravating the flooding and landslide risk in the region.

The Central Water Commission has indicated at the possibility of severe to extreme floods in the main Brahmaputra River from Dibrugarh to Dhubri districts. It is already flowing in severe flood situation in Jorhat and Sonitpur with rising trend. Downstream of Tezpur, the river has started rising in Guwahati.

Floods and landslides in Assam have left at least 107 dead with Prime Minister Narendra Modi assuring Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of all possible support to ride out the situation. The Assam State Disaster Management Authority said that 81 had died in the floods, while 26 perished in landslides.

Monsoon trough alignment

Meanwhile, the head of the monsoon trough is in the normal position over North-West India while its tail, after breaking loose off anchor in the Bay of Bengal a few days ago, has moved towards the foothills giving both North-East India and adjoining East India a severe lashing, which continued into Monday.

While it is the south-westerly winds with boatloads of moisture from the Bay of Bengal that the tail of the trough is attracting, at the opposite end, an incoming western disturbance and a cyclonic circulation over South-West Rajasthan combine to draw in rampaging flows from the Arabian Sea.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that the convergence of moist southerly to south-westerly winds from the Bay would continue over North-East and adjoining East India as would the same over North-West India from the Arabian Sea flows, over the next 2-3 days.

Extremely heavy rainfall

The 24 hours ending on Monday morning saw a punishing spell of rain across North-West, East and North-East India. The main rainfall amounts (above 10 cm) are: Cherrapunji-39; Ramnagar-29; Chanpatia-25; Jhanjharpur and Sursand-22 each; Sheohar and Kamtaul-21 each; Pusa, Kessariah, Chakia-19 each; Mahedi and Musharhi-17 each; Posera and Pashighat-16; Motihari and Jainnagar-13 each; Jaley-12; Ahirwalia, Galalia, Madhepura, Sahebganaj and Sapaiya-11 each.

Some of these areas have been running a rainfall deficit almost entirely through this season. These include Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, West Uttar Pradesh, and East Rajasthan. The All-India rainfall surplus, too, has come down from double-digits to six per cent as on Sunday due to an intervening weak monsoon phase.

 

IMD forecasts even more

The IMD has forecast widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Bihar, hills of West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura during the next 4-5 days and the rainfall intensity may reduce thereafter.

This could be likely due to an expected formation of a low-pressure in the Arabian Sea close to the Kerala coast over the next few days, which could divert some of the intense flows headed into the Bay. Instead, the West Coast could likely slip under a spell of very heavy rainfall later during this week.

The IMD has forecast fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls also over Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh during next two days following which the rainfall intensity and spread may reduce.

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Published on July 20, 2020
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